Udon Thani Airport’s popularity returns as restrictions lifted
Udon Thani International Airport in the Northeast is still No 1 among 28 provincial airports in terms of passenger numbers before and after the Covid-19 lockdown.
The Department of Airports (DOA) reported on Friday that Udon Thani welcomed 170,472 passengers and 1,157 flights in July alone, the highest among all airports under DOA’s jurisdiction.
Khon Kaen Airport came in second with 125,332 passengers and 900 flights, followed by Nakhon Si Thammarat (120,970 passengers, 894 flights), Ubon Ratchathani (117,910 passengers, 754 flights), and Krabi (112,764 passengers, 808 flights).
Airport director Kamhaeng Saiwiphu said Udon Thani Airport’s popularity returned as soon as restrictions were lifted.
“This shows a promising trend in domestic travel, especially in the Northeast and proves that we are getting closer to pre-pandemic levels,” he said.
Kamhaeng expects the number of passengers to drop slightly in October since Thais tend to travel less during the rainy season, though businesspeople will still have to travel. He also said that the drop in Thai passengers will be compensated by visitors from Laos, who use the airport as a connection to other parts of Thailand.
“The number of passengers will bounce back again around year-end until early next year, which is the high season. By then, the maintenance of the airport’s runway overlay will be completed, allowing us to land more than 40 planes daily and extend the airport’s closing time to 10pm,” he added.
DOA manages 28 provincial airports, while the Airports of Thailand oversees six airports in metropolitan areas and big cities, namely Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports in Bangkok as well as those in Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Chiang Rai.